RCMP shootings violate policy

Discussion, questions on police use of force procedures.
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smarshall
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RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby smarshall » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:21 pm

Any Thoughts?
RCMP shootings violate policy
Internal report by the force says only 10 of 30 incidents involving guns met test for lethal force
Chad Skelton, Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, July 28, 2008
Most shootings by RCMP members do not meet the force's own standards for the use of deadly force, according to an internal RCMP report obtained by The Vancouver Sun.

According to the report, of the 30 RCMP shootings nationwide in 2006 (the most recent year for which data was available), only 10 met the RCMP's test for using lethal force -- namely, to protect someone from death or "grievous bodily harm." Another two were outside the officer's control, such as a gun going off in a struggle with a suspect.

Nine violated RCMP policy -- such as an officer firing at a car to try to stop it -- and another nine were accidental, resulting from a member handling a firearm in an unsafe manner.
The internal RCMP report, completed in early 2008 and obtained by The Sun through the Access to Information Act, says the number of shootings that violate RCMP policy is troubling.

"If the number of [non-compliant] incidents does not significantly decrease in future years, this would be cause for concern and clearly point to the need for additional initiatives to ensure that members are complying with the law and with policy when they resort to lethal force," the report states.

National RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Sylvie Tremblay wrote in an e-mail to The Sun that the force is concerned about accidental and non-compliant shootings.

But she added such incidents are rare given the thousands of RCMP officers on the job.

Tremblay said the purpose of the report was to identify ways the force can improve gun safety.

"This could include activities such as incorporating new training methods or perhaps amendments to policy," she wrote.

According to the report, both accidental discharges and non-compliant shootings had tripled over the past two years -- there were just three of each in 2004 -- though it notes this may be a result of RCMP divisions doing a better job of reporting mistakes.

The internal report also highlights some stark regional differences in how often officers use their guns.

In B.C., the number of police shootings has dropped dramatically in recent years, from 27 in 2002 to just nine in 2006.

Most of that decline was due to a sharp reduction in officers shooting at vehicles.

B.C. RCMP spokesman Cpl. Pierre Lemaitre said the force's Chilliwack training centre recently produced a training video-- made available to all officers in B.C. -- that explained they may only shoot a vehicle if it is being used as a deadly weapon, not merely to disable it.

Lemaitre said the refresher course all B.C. officers receive every few years now includes a computer simulation that runs members through scenarios in which they must decide whether or not to shoot a suspect.

"That keeps the members' ... skills sharp," said Lemaitre.

In contrast to B.C., the report notes the number of shootings in Alberta has skyrocketed from just one in 2002 to eight in 2006 (peaking at 12 in 2005).

The report notes Alberta now accounts for nearly one-third of all RCMP shootings, despite the fact fewer than 15 per cent of its members are stationed there.

Alberta] is still reporting almost twice as many incidents as would be projected based on member population," it states.

The report states the high rate of police shootings in Alberta is "disturbing," but offers no explanation for why the province's numbers are so high.

Alberta RCMP spokesman Craig Albers said he couldn't explain why the province had more police shootings.

However, he said all RCMP officers in Alberta were recently required to view B.C.'s training video on shooting at vehicles.

B.C.'s relatively low rate of police shootings is in stark contrast to the province's record on in-custody deaths.

A separate RCMP report made public earlier this year found that 56 per cent of RCMP in-custody deaths over the past five years occurred in B.C., even though only one-third of the force's officers are stationed here.

The report on police shootings, prepared by RCMP national headquarters, involved a detailed review of every shooting incident, including any discipline received by the officers involved.

"In a few instances ... the discipline meted out was insufficient to the gravity of the hazard to public safety and human life," the report states.

The report adds that, in some cases, officers who used their firearm improperly got off lightly if the error did not result in any injury or loss of life, something the report argues is a mistake.

"These are high risk incidents," it states. "The golden rule should be that [such cases are treated] as if someone had been seriously injured or killed."

Some of the report's other findings include:

- Five of the nine accidental discharges in 2006 occurred during firearms training, three of which resulted in minor injuries to either an officer or bystander. Two of the accidental discharges involved improper handling of firearms seized from a suspect.

- More than half (53 per cent) of all police shootings in 2006 were by officers with less than 10 years' experience. The report states this could be due to inexperience or the fact rookie officers are more likely to work in front-line policing and on night shifts than senior officers.

- Less than one-quarter (23 per cent) of the bullets RCMP officers fired at suspects in 2006 actually hit their target. The report says this "hit percentage" is in line with that of other police forces, but says it illustrates the need for officers to be reminded "of the importance of firing no more shots than necessary to neutralize a threat." The report adds annual firearms training for members may need to be improved to better reflect real-world scenarios.

cskelton@vancouversun.com

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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby Alberta Blue » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:50 pm

First of all - there is no such thing as an "accidental" discharge. We call these "negligent" discharges. (i.e. gun goes off while loading/unloading/cleaning etc.)

My guess would be that the reason "non-compliant" shootings are on the rise is that the average age of general duty members is a lot lower than it used to be. There are a lot of newer recruits out there and fewer mentors and experienced officers. But that's just my guess.

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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby Respond Wayne » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:20 pm

Alberta Blue wrote:First of all - there is no such thing as an "accidental" discharge. We call these "negligent" discharges. (i.e. gun goes off while loading/unloading/cleaning etc.)...


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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby IMthePheonix » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:52 am

Well, a report should be out any day now stating that CEDs need to be used more.
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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby GPZ » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:17 pm

I don't understand the 'during firearms training' bit. These are boo-boos at Depot that count as AD's and are reported as such?

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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby dusty » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:25 am

It's a typical example of some media loser with too much time on his hands gathering different statistics and manipulating them to make a bs story that will sell newspapers to the left coast pot smoking anti-police crowd. Since when the hell do accidental discharges (negligent works for the military because they handle firearms so often that it is negligent, not like police who qualify annually and aren't expected to be firearms experts) and bonifide on-the-street shootings fit into the same statistical ballpark? Take away the 9 accidental discharges and 2 dishcharges while struggling with a suspect, and you've got a legitimate statistic of 10 out of 19 shootings meeting the policy test (which is pointless because real life is dynamic and things don't always fit into policy).

If they want a statistic they should compare the thousands (I'm not a mountie and I don't know the exact number) of RCMP officers vs. 9 shootings that don't fit into policy. The conclusion that can be drawn from that is that the RCMP is very professional and disciplined in their use of firearms (like all other Canadian police services) and almost never has a non-policy shooting on the street. That kind of statistic doesn't sell newspapers to the generally anti-police hippies on the left coast though. As you can see, I can't stand when the media not-so-cleverly manipulates statistics in order to paint police in a bad light and sell newspapers.
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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby robbo » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm

And there is a difference between policies and what could happen with a fatality inquiry. Most departments prohibit shooting at or from a moving motor vehicle. But there are a few scenarios I can think of that would be easy to justify breaching that policy... ie; bad guy trying to run you down. Stupid media.
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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby smarshall » Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:29 am

Most of that decline was due to a sharp reduction in officers shooting at vehicles.

B.C. RCMP spokesman Cpl. Pierre Lemaitre said the force's Chilliwack training centre recently produced a training video-- made available to all officers in B.C. -- that explained they may only shoot a vehicle if it is being used as a deadly weapon, not merely to disable it.




Did you read the article?

catchinon

Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby catchinon » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:19 am

I was listening to the Radio and I heard a caller say that police should aim for legs and limbs.

She stated the following:
"I just don't understand why police shoot for center mass that is where all the organs are"

Then a marine called in and said:
Do you think that shooting someone in the leg or arm when they are on drugs or are pumping with adrenaline is going to do anything? I think we have a group of potential applicants for the police force here.


LOL!

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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby NightHawk » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:43 am

Better yet, don't shoot the assailant at all. Dem RCMPers aughta shoot the knife, chain, bat out of the hands of the bad guy. :roll:
Looks like I need a new avatar...

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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby Transitpopo » Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:23 am

Or shoot their belt buckles so that their pants fall off, that way they can't run away. :sniper:

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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby T.M.DIESEL » Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:31 am

Transitpopo wrote:Or shoot their belt buckles so that their pants fall off, that way they can't run away. :sniper:


Will not work these days with all the thuglets, they are already there.
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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby Respond Wayne » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:37 pm

LIVE IN THE PEEL REGION AREA?
VOLUNTEERS WANTED!
>>> RSAR.CA <<<


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(A minimum commitment to the group will be required before certificates are issued)

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Re: RCMP shootings violate policy

Postby WILLPOWER » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:51 pm

Respond Wayne wrote::aye:

What's this right here?


Ho Wayne...this one was really funny! :bow:
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